FAAN INAUGURATES OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP ON THE 15TH OF FEBRUARY 2021 – Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria

FAAN INAUGURATES OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP ON THE 15TH OF FEBRUARY 2021

           

         

   

The inaugural meeting started at 10am with words of prayer said by Mrs. Ebele Isebor. Thereafter, the second stanza of the National Anthem was recited. A minute silence was observed in honour of the late Mr. Ibrahim Idris, Chief of staff to the Honourable Minister of Aviation.

The Moderator, Mr. Eta Neji, introduced all members of the Committee beginning with the Managing Director, in whose carte blanche the Committee can operate, and the Chairperson, Mrs. Ebele Okoye.  Other members were thereafter introduced.

The Managing Director was ably represented by the Director of Security Services (DSS), Group Captain U. S. Sadiq.

The membership of the committee comprises staff from each directorate in FAAN.

Mrs. Ebele okoye, the Chairperson and General Manager Customer Service, in her opening remark gave an erudite insight into Open Government Partnership (OGP). Having explained Open Government Partnership as a multilateral initiative of a group of government and Civil Society leaders who recognized that people around the world are increasingly demanding more transparent and accountable government and thus decided that there is need to strengthen governance by securing concrete commitment to enhance transparency, accountability and public participation in government, she delved into the origin, Vision, Mission Statement and Open Declaration (Core Values) of the OGP. She added that “The Open Government Partnership was created to support and help governments work better, in a way that will foster transparency and accountability. The aim is to make government more open and responsive to citizens, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance and renew public trust in institutions”.

  

HOW THE JOURNEY BEGAN IN NIGERIA

In view of the foregoing, since the OGP is a global coalition of reformers from governments and civil societies working together to make government more transparent, participatory and accountable, to truly serve the Nigerian citizens and attain improvement in Service Delivery processes, which falls squarely within the mandate of the SERVICOM initiative, the Coordinator of SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajiemeli, therefore called on Chief Executive Officers of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to take ownership of the OGP and run with its mandate. She subsequently secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the pilot phase of the implementation of the OGP initiative. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Air Transport Management Department of the Federal Ministry of Aviation (FMA) were selected by SERVICOM for the pilot scheme of the implementation of the OGP initiative due to the nature of services they provide and the high volume of interface they have with the Nigerian populace. On that note, Mrs. Nnenna Akajiemeli paid a visit to the Honourable Minister of Aviation who gave her the go-ahead with the implementation of the pilot phase of the OGP initiative.

The Chairperson of the FAAN Committee on Open government Partnership, Mrs. Ebele Okoye rounded off her remark by stating that it was in the light of the foregoing that the Committee was set up.

PRESENTATION ON “OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP” BY MRS. EBELE OKOYE, CHAIRPERSON, FAAN COMMITTEE ON OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP (OGP)

Mrs. Ebele Okoye went straight to define “Open Government Partnership” having chronologically laid down the history of the OGP in her earlier Remark. She defined “Open Government Partnership” as multilateral initiative to strengthen governance by securing concrete commitment from national and subnational governments to enhance transparency, accountability and public participation in government. She equally added that the OGP provides a platform for reformers inside and outside governments around the world for the purpose of promoting open government, fighting corruption, empowering citizens and harnessing new technologies.

During the presentation, the Chairperson pointed out that the Open Government Partnership which was founded in September 2011 with eight member countries, currently has 79 participating countries with over 2,500 commitments which represents a third of the world’s population. The activities of the OGP are overseen by a steering committee made up of the representatives of governments and Civil Society organizations. She stated the objectives of the OGP as well as the Global and national declaration of the initiative.

To deepen the understanding of members on the enormous commitments required of them, Mrs Ebele Okoye added that the reason the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration opted to join the OGP in 2016 is to provide a conducive and credible platform that will make Nigeria’s government more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens knowing full well that lack of openness, transparency and accountability in governance are the bane of Nigeria’s development.

In conclusion, Mrs. Ebele made members to understand that Nigeria has been battling with the challenge of effective utilization of its resources in supporting equitable economic growth, efficient and effective service delivery and social cohesion and that the principles that govern the Open Government partnership are the formidable tools to ameliorate the challenge. The Principles of the Open Government Partnership are:

  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Citizen participation
  • Technology and Innovation, and
  • Citizen engagement.

  

MANAGING DIRECTOR’S SPEECH AND INAURATION

Having enthusiastically welcomed all members, the Managing Director quickly threw light on Open Government Partnership and stated that Nigeria joined the Partnership having seen how helpful it had been in enhancing important reforms for member countries and that since she joined Nigeria has recorded some remarkable achievements and progress under her first National Action plan. State governments representing different stakeholders had joined the Partnership because of the obvious achievements Nigeria has recorded at the national level. Some other deductions made from the MD’s speech are:

  • With the level of resources FAAN is committing to the fight in mitigating the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the airports there is serious need to ensure transparency, financial prudence and accountability, and that can be done through the OGP initiative.
  • Since the Federal Government has embraced the OGP initiative and wants it cascaded down the line through citizen engagement, the need for FAAN to leverage on the federal government’s commitment to enhance the engagement of the traveling public and airport management cannot be overemphasized.
  • The OGP initiative will play a paramount role in fostering individual accountability in FAAN services and operations, yield positive change, and encourage increased citizen participation thereby leading to revenue maximization.
  • All privileged members of the FAAN OGP Committee should display strong sense of commitment and dedication to the success of the OGP initiative.
  • Finally, the MD declared the Committee inaugurated.

DELIBRATION BY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Immediately after the group photograph members reconvened for deliberation on the way forward.  Mrs. Ebele, the Chairperson addressed all members. She said that she had discussed with the Coordinator of SERVICOM for a retreat to be organized for members so as to keep them abreast of the requirements of the membership of the OGP and to deepen their understanding as well. She equally told members that their job as members of the OGP Committee is all encompassing. Members, as the eyes of government, must challenge corruption and promote transparency, accountability, and discipline. She urged them to be innovative, committed and impactful.

Members contributed on how the Committee can achieve its terms of reference. From the contributions made the following resolutions were reached.

  1. There will be enlightenment campaign in order to create awareness for the general public on how to utilize the OGP initiative.
  2. The Committee should utilize social media and digital platforms to achieve the mandate of the OGP in FAAN.
  3. There will be goal and target setting on quarterly bases.
  4. There will be a defined format of operations or modus operandi.
  5. The Committee will be divided into sub-committees to formulate goals, targets, innovations and drive
  6. implementation of the OGP initiative.